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Bishop of Norwich Wine Serving Set by Kacper Hamilton.

by Andreas Rekopoulos
Bishop of Norwich Wine Set by Kacper Hamilton

London based designer Kacper Hamilton has created a dramatic wine serving set that encourages users to constantly share the drink around.

This noble wine glasses & decanter set has luxurious aesthetics combined with a generous amount of British humor. The wine serving set is influenced by and named after the classic tale of the “Bishop of Norwich” a nineteenth-century gentleman who was notorious for forgetting to pass the port. The Bishop of Norwich wine set brings about the return of humble rituals from the past through a drink that has become quintessentially British.

When wine is passed around at British meals, one tradition dictates that one passes the decanter to the left immediately after pouring a glass for his or her fellow on the right. The decanter should not stop its clockwise progress around the table until it is finished. If someone is seen to have failed to follow tradition, the breach is brought to their attention by asking “Do you know the Bishop of Norwich?”. Those aware of the tradition treat the question as a reminder, while those who do not are told “He was a terribly good chap, but he always forgets to pass the port!”

With respect to the tradition, the Bishop of Norwich wine set has been specifically designed to solve the problem of modern “Bishop of Norwich Imitators” that forget to pass the port. To ensure the drink is shared by users of this set, the bottoms of the decanter and glasses are pointed so they can’t be put down. Hence the port has to be constantly passed, shared and quaffed.

All vessels come with a matching metal base. The wine glasses and the decanter can only stand when returned to their individual solid brass bases. Each solid brass base is engraved with the KH Studio monogram. The large decanter base displays the edition number (Limited Edition of 12), the date of production, and “Made in England”.

An elongated wooden tray brings all the parts together, making the complete creation a grand central piece. The ebony finish creates a striking contrast with the brushed sheen of the brass and a distinctive sculptural form appears when all the elements are displayed alongside one another.

A “Still-Life” photograph was also created by the studio to celebrate the historical aspect and the ritualistic infused within the fashion of drinking port. The composition was inspired by the famous Dutch “Vanitas” paintings of the 16th and 17th centuries representing the materialism versus the fragility of life. The composition is full of symbolism. Alongside the “Bishop of Norwich” wine serving set other objects were used as specific references. Such as the oyster shell which emphasizes indulgence and the thistle that symbolizes nobility.

The “Bishop of Norwich” wine serving set is part of the permanent museum collection of Shanghai Museum of Glass.

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